Outer characterization

Nnamabia is the main character of the short story “Cell One” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is 17 years old when the story begins and 19 years old when the story ends. He is the son of a college professor and has a younger sister. Nnamabia is thought to be a cult member, but he denies it, and his sister and father believe he is telling the truth. However, this is never confirmed. 

Nnamabia has his mother’s “fair complexion and large eyes, and a generous mouth that curved perfectly.” He is described by the narrator as “handsome” and “charming.” According to the narrator, he is also a smoker: “I imagined that he had gone off to smoke or to see some girl…”

Inner characterization

Nnamabia comes across as a spoiled young man, who takes advantage of his parents’ social position. He has had behavior problems since he was little. For example, at 11, he “broke the window of his classroom with a stone”. A few years later, he tried to make a copy of his father’s car keys, and, as a teenager, he “stole the exam questions from the...

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